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To Sam

My dad

I feel bad about this, but I don't love my dad. He annoys me by just talking and he is so irresponsible. He makes me feel like I'm in the wrong when he spends my money and he just makes me so angry. I dread having to go to his at the weekends and to be honest I wouldn't care if I never saw him again. He is so self-absorbed and I feel bad for my mum cos she can't do anything about it. What should I do and is this normal for a girl my age (I'm 12, 13 next month)
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

I can hear that you feel guilty about how you feel towards your Dad and it seems as though you’re wondering whether this is “normal”. What’s normal is different for us all. Our feelings for somebody else are usually based on how we get along with that person, how they treat us and what they mean to us. It doesn’t seem like you enjoy spending time with your Dad and it sounds as though he can make you feel bad about yourself. I’m wondering whether you’ve ever felt able to share your angry feelings with your Dad when he spends your money or puts himself first.

From what you’ve told me, you’d rather not have to spend time with him and you’d prefer not to see him again. I’m not sure of your exact situation but if you don’t want to see your Dad again, you have the right to be listened to and have your view heard. There are a number of ways you can do that and it sounds like mum has already tried and has not been able to help. A ChildLine counsellor will be able to help you identify and explore your options.

If you’d like to find out more about your legal rights around seeing your Dad, you could get in touch with the Children’s Legal Centre. They can give free legal information and advice to young people and their families.

It could help to think about talking to somebody else about this so that people know that you don’t want to see your Dad. This way you can get some support with it. If you carry on seeing your Dad, it might be useful to think about what needs to change to make your time with him feel better. You seem good at writing about how you feel. What would it be like to write to your Dad about how he makes you feel?  Sometimes people close to us are not aware of how their behaviour is making us feel.

If you want to talk about any of this in more detail and in private, please contact the counsellors at ChildLine. You can ring 0800 1111 for free, log on for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email. Remember that the counsellors are there to listen to you and to support you.

I’m glad that you felt able to write to me.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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